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Friday, January 12
Fri, Jan 12, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Crystal Ballroom F
Modeling for Health

A Source-Oriented Approach to Coal Power Plant Emissions Health Effects (304250)

Christine Choirat, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health 
*Kevin Cummiskey, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health 
Lucas Henneman, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health 
Chanmin Kim, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health 
Corwin M Zigler, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health 

Keywords: PM2.5, coal combustion, propensity score matching, source-oriented, IHD

There is increasing evidence that particulate air pollution originating from different sources impacts health differently. Existing methods have typically focused on identifying health impacts of broad categories of sources (coal combustion, traffic, etc). While valuable, focus on broad source categories limits the utility of these methods to address the relationship between emissions from specific point sources (a single power plant, for example) and health. Assessing the health effects of specific point sources of emissions is essential to evaluating public policy interventions. In this paper, we deploy a novel statistical analysis method to more directly isolate the association between fine particulate matter originating from coal-fired power plants and health. We use a reduced-form chemical transport model to assess the exposure of 21,351 U.S. ZIP codes to emissions from each of 783 coal-fired power generating units operating in 2005. Then, we use propensity score matching to match highly exposed locations to suitable controls and then estimate the impact of coal emissions on ischemic heart disease hospitalizations in the Medicare population.